Morning Media Newsfeed: Couric Joining Yahoo! | iVillage Shuts Down | Inquirer Editor Back

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Katie Couric Negotiating ABC News Exit (THR / The Live Feed)
Less than three years after joining ABC in a lucrative and wide-ranging deal that included a daytime talk show and a role at ABC News, Katie Couric is negotiating an exit package, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. The move comes as Couric is close to finalizing an extensive deal with Internet giant Yahoo!, according to multiple sources. TVNewser “Katie is an incredible journalist and this was an opportunity that she couldn’t pass up,” an ABC newser in the know tells TVNewser. “Thanks to the powerful association between ABC News and Yahoo! we know that Katie will continue to work closely with us and welcome her on our air anytime.” AllThingsD The deal is set to be announced on Monday, said multiple sources at the company, which could designate Couric as “global news anchor” of the Silicon Valley Internet giant. Capital New York The negotiations over whether she will continue her daytime talk show, Katie, for the network are still ongoing, and the Yahoo! deal does not prevent her from keeping it. NYT The Katie program was among the highest-rated of the new syndicated talk shows over the last two years, but like most recent rating results, the numbers were considerably lower than syndicated shows scored in the past. Variety Couric has always been admirably aggressive about experimenting with online video and social media, so this is no neophyte putting a toe in new waters. But the problem is she is still a fixture of the old media world. Regardless of how willing she is to shed her skin and embrace new ways, the world still mostly sees her in the over-familiar constructs of “anchor” and “talkshow host.”

iVillage to Be Shuttered as Standalone Site, Folded Into (TVNewser)
iVillage, one of the earliest websites for women, will be folded into next spring, TVNewser has learned. The iVillage changes will results in the loss of up to 12 jobs. “Combining these strong lifestyle brands under the Today banner will give iVillage much bigger reach and will further integrate it with NBC News,” a spokesperson tells TVNewser. MediaPost / Online Media Daily iVillage was founded in 1995 by Time Warner veteran Candice Carpenter and publishing executive Nancy Evans. The site was widely seen as a digital pioneer for service-oriented offerings, especially in the health, fitness, relationship and lifestyle spaces. In May 2006, NBCU picked up iVillage for $600 million. TVNewser NBC is shutting down with coverage moving to when that site relaunches next year, TVNewser has also learned. A source tells us three positions will be eliminated, but those staffers may be offered positions in other parts of NBC.

Judge Orders Philadelphia Inquirer Editor Reinstated (Philadelphia Inquirer)
A Philadelphia judge on Friday ordered the immediate reinstatement of Philadelphia Inquirer editor William K. Marimow, overturning a firing that exposed deep divisions among the newspaper’s owners and sparked an ugly public battle for control of its parent company. In a Friday afternoon ruling, Common Pleas Court judge Patricia A. McInerney declared that Marimow’s Oct. 7 firing violated the contract rights of Lewis Katz, one of two co-owners who opposed his dismissal. Bloomberg McInerney ruled after hearing arguments by lawyers for Inquirer owner Interstate General Media LLC, publisher Robert Hall and co-owner George Norcross that Marimow was properly fired for failing to make ordered changes to the newspaper. Norcross and his group will appeal McInerney’s order reinstating Marimow, who they characterized as a “lame-duck editor,” spokesman Daniel F. Fee said in an e-mailed statement. The camp that supports Marimow tells Romenesko: “There is no majority owner and this terminology is irrelevant with the management committee structure which gives Katz and Norcross blocking rights of any decision. They are using this device to gain leverage in the public’s mind but it is completely inaccurate.”

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After Changes, How Green Is The Times? (NYT)
Early this year, the Times came under heavy criticism from many readers who care deeply about news coverage about the environment — especially climate change. In January, the Times dismantled its “pod” of reporters and editors devoted to that subject. And in March, it discontinued its Green blog, a daily destination for environmental news. Times editors emphasized that they were not abandoning the subject — just taking it out of its silo and integrating it into many areas of coverage. So what has happened since?

Time Warner Files Plan Ahead of Time Inc. Spinoff (Adweek)
Time Warner filed documents Friday evening in preparation for the planned spinoff of publishing division and No. 1 U.S. magazine company Time Inc. next year. While the company didn’t specify any dates, it did provide plenty of detailed financial information. The documents revealed just how hard the publisher of People, Time and Sports Illustrated (along with the rest of the publishing industry) was hit by the 2008 recession.

Adrian Chen to Leave Gawker, Pursue Freelance (Capital New York)
Gawker editor John Cook announced in a memo Friday that longtime staff writer Adrian Chen is leaving the site to pursue a freelance career. “It is with a heavy heart and barely subdued rage that I must report that Gawker senior writer Adrian Chen is leaving us to pursue a career as a freelance writer,” Cook wrote in the memo. “If you ever need someone to run down and question an intimidating target, hire him not me.”

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Signs of Change in News Mission at Bloomberg (NYT)
Champagne flowed one week ago as Hong Kong’s business elite gathered with top Bloomberg L.P. executives at a dinner for 100 guests at a cultural center in a former British colonial military complex. But behind the celebration were some troubling developments. The growth of Bloomberg’s terminal sales worldwide had softened over the last several years, and had dropped significantly in the last year in mainland China, a vast untapped market. Bloomberg News’s tough reporting last year about China had prompted officials to cancel subscriptions for the lucrative terminals, frustrating the company’s Beijing sales staff.

ESPN Writer Takes All-Expenses Paid Trip to Qatar, Loves Qatar (Deadspin)
All those problems you thought Qatar’s World Cup faced — indentured servitude, bribery allegations, unplayable heat, nonexistent infrastructure — it turns out they can all be made to go away with a stay in a nice hotel and a photo op with Alan Shearer.

Geraldo Rivera’s Radio Show Gets New Focus in New Year (TVNewser)
A year after launching a radio show in New York and Los Angeles, Geraldo Rivera is retooling the program with a strictly New York focus. The program will relaunch Jan. 1 and air from 10 a.m. to Noon ET on WABC-AM. It had also aired on KABC-AM in Los Angeles. Cumulus says the show “will focus on the most talked about topics involving the nation’s largest city — everything from social issues to politics.”

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Top Editor at Mental Floss Has Some Spicy Credentials (NYT)
To the underpaid, well-educated magazine scribes hoping for a break in an industry with little growth opportunity, there is hope. Mental Floss, the magazine that was begun a dozen years ago in a Duke University dorm room and is now published nine times a year, announced a new editor-in-chief. No, she is not the daughter of media royalty with a résumé of gilded publishing internships. She is Jessanne Collins, 34, a Smith College graduate with a sociology degree who toiled for three years at the Harvard bookstore, hawked behavioral science books for an academic publisher and then moved into publishing pornography.

Inside A Twitter Robot Factory (WSJ)
One day earlier in November, Jim Vidmar bought 1,000 fake Twitter accounts for $58 from an online vendor in Pakistan. He then programmed the accounts to “follow” the Twitter account of rapper Dave Murrell, who calls himself Fyrare and pays Vidmar to boost his standing on the social network. Vidmar’s fake accounts also rebroadcast Murrell’s tweets, amplifying his Twitter voice. Murrell says he sometimes buys Twitter ads to raise his profile, “but you’ll get more with Jim.”

Swatting at A Swarm of Public Relations Spam (NYT)
The Haggler typically starts his column with a complaint, and this time it’s the Haggler’s turn to complain. Specifically, the Haggler would like to complain about the complaints he’s getting. “In January,” one of them began, “we traveled to Myanmar and purchased two wooden statues in a shop in Yangon.” This might be the least promising start of all time to a Haggler letter. Because do you know how much juice the Haggler has in Myanmar? This is an unsolicited public relations pitch — P.R. spam, more succinctly — one of hundreds of thousands that belly-flop into the email systems of journalists every day.

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Overlook The Value of Interns at Great Peril (NYT)
One week ago, the New York Post ran the kind of heart-rending article tabloids excel at. A young woman, new to New York, found herself pushed beyond what she could bear, forced to work by a big bad corporation for a compensation of exactly zero. “I cried myself to sleep at least three nights a week,” Lisa Denmark told the Post. And where, the reader might ask, is this gulag of horrors? That would be Vogue magazine at 4 Times Square, headquarters of Condé Nast Publications.

Inside The Promising, Hellish, Doomed Business Romance of Nikki Finke And Jay Penske (Vulture)
The meet-uncute of Nikki Finke, scourge of Hollywood, and Jay Penske, automotive scion, happened through the matchmaking services of mutual friend A. Scott Berg, the Pulitzer-winning biographer whose brother Jeff is a powerful Hollywood agent. Finke had interviewed Berg, and Berg had written about Penske. This was in 2008, when Finke’s entertainment-news blog Deadline had become an essential, compulsive read in Hollywood, drawing impressive Web traffic. Over a two-year period, Finke says, some 25 potential buyers, reportedly including Variety owner Reed Elsevier, the Huffington Post, IFC and the billionaire Haim Saban, began “kicking the tires.” Berg and another intermediary, Dani Janssen, the host of a prominent Oscars party, reached out to Finke to tell her that Penske was interested, too. “Scott said, ‘He’s the real thing,’ ” Finke remembers. FishbowlNY Among the many fascinating revelations in the feature by Benjamin Wallace about the evolution of Finke‘s relationship with Penske is the way she helped her PMC boss drive down the acquisition price of Variety, the property that would eventually prove to be their Deadline Hollywood undoing.

At Business Insider, It’s Time to Sell (USA Today / Michael Wolff)
Henry Blodget is a savvy operator who took brilliant advantage of the dot-com bubble and who then, after having taken too much advantage and getting banned from the securities industry for life, was able to redeem himself as a high-profile Internet publisher. Along the way, it turned out, he was also a smart observer of technology hype and business practices, with a stinging style and a gimlet eye. So it probably makes sense to try to figure out what’s on his mind as he now attempts to sell Business Insider, the digital business tout and gossip sheet, and prodigious aggregator, started in 2009 by DoubleClick’s Kevin Ryan with Blodget as its front man and editor.

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